Marta Sanchez Quintet - Danza Imposible

Label: Fresh Sound New Talent, 2017

Lineup - Roman Filiu: alto saxophone; Jerome Sabbagh: tenor saxophone; Marta Sanchez: piano; Rick Rosato: bass; Daniel Dor: drums.

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Madrid-born pianist Marta Sanchez has been an influential voice on the New York jazz scene since she moved to the Big Apple seven years ago.

Danza Imposible, couldn’t have been a better follow-up to Partenika (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2014), exceeding all the expectations by presenting music that challenges, intrigues, and bewilders. Just like the previous, her newest body of work was mounted in a quintet format, but the band denotes alterations in the rhythm section. Bassist Rick Rosato and drummer Daniel Dor were enlisted, replacing Sam Anning and Jason Burger, respectively, while the extremely pliant team of saxophones is maintained with Jerome Sabbagh on tenor and Roman Filiu on alto.

The sparkling “Copa de Luz” opens with paralleled sax ostinatos supported by relentless piano chords and alluring phrases excavated on the upper register. A strong Spanish feeling arises from the accompaniment, especially during the saxophone solo, while the navigated meter, counting nine beats per measure, feels not strange but splendid. If Sanchez based herself on Eric Revis’ In Memory of Things Yet Seen (Clean Feed, 2014) to write this first tune, she used a digital delay effect by Aphex Twin as the inspirational source for the title track. In this sophisticated, shape-shifting piece you’ll find superb polyphony and delicate if intricate sonic streams. The improvisers are Sabbagh and Sanchez.

With “Scillar”, a shimmering feel of suspension is attained through elliptical piano reflections and double saxophone agglomerations. The floating mood quite differs from the one set in “El Girasol”, a seven-metered piece with a nice flow, galvanized by intense rhythmic accentuations. It takes wing with Filiu’s inspired solo and continues with the bandleader’s pianistic dexterity. Before she finishes her solo, the wonderful contrapuntal work by the saxophonists bursts with activity. Their presence, a major asset in the art of coloring Sanchez’ writing style and idea of fluency, is also noticeable on “Board”, whose groovy side brings strains of electronic music along with smooth funk and hip-hop. The beautiful drum fills and exciting timbres of Daniel Dor are a joy to behold.

The nocturnal “Nebulosa”, a rubato lyrical forlornness, is pure noir exploration, and “Junk Food”, a modernistic portraiture of the contemporary itself, finishes the album in great style, bringing a panoply of intensities, groove, and punchy improvisations in the package.

Conquering her space with a triumphant confidence, Marta Sanchez, proves she is a top 21st-century composer. This seminal work takes us to unexpected places, radiating energy in its most varied forms and passages. This outstanding Danza is not Impossible at all!

         Grade  A

        Grade A

Favorite Tracks:
01 - Copa de Luz ► 04 - El Girasol ► 08 - Junk Food